Organic Chemistry Study Plan for the New Students



CLICK HERE to get the printable version of this New Organic Chemistry Student Study Plan.


Congratulations on taking the plunge. Organic chemistry is one of the toughest courses you will take, but (in our humble opinion) it is also one of the most interesting. Organic chemistry is the basis of drug design, biological chemistry, and nanotechnology. All of the pharmaceutical sciences come back to organic chemistry. It really is a fascinating course. But, at this point you are much more interested in learning the material, getting through your course, and scoring that good grade.

So let’s get started, what is the best way to attack this course?

We think that you need to assess yourself first before you can decide what the best organic chemistry study plan is for you.  Here is how we think you should do that:


Step 1) Accept the fact that this class is going to be a lot of work, and there is no way out of that. If you are ready, move on to step two.

Step 2) Watch the full course review videos UP TO THE POINT THE END OF ORGANIC I MODULE 2.  This will give you a 2-hour review of the essentials of the course.

Step 3) Print out the guide to the Organic I Basics, and look it over.

Step 4) Go to the tutorials section and review tutorials on stereochemistry, formal charge, resonance, alkanes and functional groups.

Step 5) Take your first exam in the class.  How did it go?

Step 6) Now it is time to ask yourself an honest question: how comfortable were you with the information you looked at in steps 1-4?  How was your grade on the exam?   The topics you saw in steps 1-4 of this plan are the very basics of organic chemistry.  We asked you to look at the foundations of the course to assess how comfortable you are with these topics and/or how easily you learn and retain chemistry.


Group 1: “I nailed it.  Organic chemistry makes sense to me, and the first exam was easy.”  Great. You probably hear and understand science topics very easily.  Congrats, that is a talent. We would suggest you get on the “A Student” plan.  Since you are early in the course, you should go through all of the mini-movies as you hear about the topics in lecture.

Group 2: “I got it, but it was hard and the first exam didn’t go as well as I had hoped”.  Sorry it didn’t go better, but this is the group most students end up in.  Now is the time to make sure you stay on top of the material and don’t fall behind.  Even if you are not a C student, we suggest you use the “C student” study plan.  It is actually very similar to the A student plan, but emphasizes flash cards a little more to reinforce topics.

Group 3: ” Ughh, this sucks.  This makes little to no sense to me and I got killed on the first exam.” Ok, all is not lost.  This is going to be some work, but you can absolutely do it. Start with the “barely passing” study plan.  It emphasizes three things: videos, flash cards, practice exams.  They are the most bang for your buck.  Hang in there and do as many problems as possible.


It is important to note: Just because we suggested a certain study plan, does not mean you are shooting for the grade of that organic chemistry study plan OR you have to even use those study plans.  We have tutored hundreds and hundreds of students and have found these methods to work best for certain types of students.  BUT…if it doesn’t work for you, you should try one of the other plans or make one up yourself. The biggest deal is that you have a roadmap for ingesting all of this material and you stick with it.



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